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the debt of a hundred pence. Does he teach that the pure in heart are blessed ? It is because they shall see God.” Does he teach the duty of letting our light shine? It is that we may glorify our Father which is in heaven. Would an apostle teach men the duty of mutual love? “ Herein,” says he, “ is love; not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” And in the same way are the character and acts of Christ referred to. Would Peter teach us to bear injuries patiently? He tells us of Him “who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to Him that judgeth righteously.” Would Paul teach us lowliness of mind, and to esteem others better than ourselves, what is his argument ? He says, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant.” Indeed, the more we examine this point, the more we shall be surprised to see how almost exclusively the motives to Christian morality are drawn from the Christian religion, and how its doctrines, and facts, and motives, and precepts, all coalesce and become indissolubly united in one harmonious and perfect whole.
Let no one suppose, then, that he can separate Christian morality from the Christian religion. Whatever the origin of this religion may have been, it is no heterogeneous mass promiscuously thrown together. It is obviously one, and must be accepted or rejected as one. From the nature of the case, therefore, we
might expect — what all experience shows has happened - that any attempt to separate this morality from this religion, and yet give it power, would be like the attempt to separate the branch from the parent stock, and yet cause it to live. We might expect, if we were ever to see a perfect morality coming up from the wilderness of this world, that she would come, not walking alone, but “leaning upon her Beloved."
ADAPTATION OF CHRISTIANITY TO THE CONSCIENCE, CON
SIDERED AS A POWER CAPABLE OF IMPROVEMENT - ITS ADAPTATION TO THE INTELLECT, THE AFFECTIONS, THE IMAGINATION, AND THE WILL.
CHRISTIANITY is analogous to nature ; it coincides with natural religion, and it is adapted to the moral nature of man. This adaptation may be said to exist if it satisfy the conscience as a discriminating power, and if it has a tendency to quicken and exalt its action, considered as a power needing improvement. This last point I regard as of great importance. If it can be shown that the moral powers are quickened and perfected in proportion as the mind comes under the legitimate action of any system, that system must be from God. That a false system should tend to perfect the conscience in its discriminating, and impulsive, and rewarding, and punishing power, would be not only impossible, but suicidal. It would purge the eye to a quicker perception of its own deformities, and nerve the arm for its own overthrow. Accordingly, there is no tendency in any system, except the Christian, to create a pure and an efficient individual or public conscience. Other systems act upon men through prescription, through awe and reverence, and hope and
fear, and not by commending themselves as righteous to every man's conscience in the sight of God. But Christianity, by the perfect standard which it sets up in the character of God and of his law, by its doctrines of the universal and constant inspection of a righteous God, and of a future judgment, by its amazing sanctions, and especially by the light in which it places all sin as ingratitude to an infinite Benefactor, does all that we can conceive any system to do to quicken and to perfect the powers of moral perception and of action. The adjustments of the system are made ; they are perfect; it only needs to be applied. Accordingly, we find that an efficient and an enlightened conscience exists just in proportion to the prevalence of pure Christianity; and we must see that its full influence would banish moral evil as the sun disperses the darkness. It is by the light and strength drawn from Christianity itself that we are able to apply many of those tests which we now apply in judging of it; and the more fully we are under its influence, the more competent shall we be to apply such tests, and the more convincing will be the evidence derived from their application.
Having made these few additional remarks respecting the adaptation of Christianity to the conscience, I now proceed to speak of its adaptation to the intellect, to the affections, to the imagination, and to the will.
By the adaptation of Christianity to the intellect, I mean its tendency to give it clearness and strength. I mean by it just what is meant when it is said that nature is adapted to the intellect. The intellect is
enlarged and strengthened by the exercise of its powers on suitable subjects. This exercise can be induced in only two ways — by furnishing it with information, or by leading it to study and reflection ; and whichever of these we regard, we need not fear to compare Christianity with nature as adapted to enlarge and strengthen the intellectual powers.
And, first, of information. If we consider the Christian revelation, as we fairly may in this connection, as it recognizes, includes, and presupposes the Old Testament, there is no book that can compare with it for the variety and importance of the information it gives ; nor can it be exceeded by nature itself. From this, and from this alone, do we know any thing of the origin of the world and of the human race; of the introduction of natural and moral evil; of the history of men before the deluge; of the deluge itself, as connected with the race of man; of the early settlement and dispersions of the race; of the history of the Jews; and of the history of the early rise and progress of Christianity. Without the Bible, an impenetrable curtain would be dropped between us and the whole history of the race farther back than the Greeks; and who does not feel that the letting down of such a curtain would act upon the mind, not simply by the amount of information it would withdraw, but with the effect of a chill and a paralysis, from the necessity of that infoi mation to give completeness to knowledge as an organized whole? It would be like taking the hook out of the beam on which the whole chain hangs. And, again, what information gained from nature can be more interesting than that which the Bible gives concerning God as a Father, concerning his universal providence,